25 - Klondike RV Park, Soldotna Kenai Alaska

Traveled from Anchorage to Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula on Wednesday 7/20. On the way we stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservatory. Mike and I had stopped there 7 years ago on the bus from Seward to Anchorage after the cruise but saw only a small portion since we were only there for 1 hour and that included the long line for the restrooms. This time we got to walk the whole thing and saw many animals.

I know, shocking but the weather was still crappy on Thursday 7/21. During the day it was just a light rain but got harder as the day we on.

We both woke up with RV issues. Jim & Anita had to bring their RV to get a tire repaired and we had issues with the hot water heater. Mike did get someone on the phone from Aqua Hot who told us they had a service center in Anchorage (the only one in Alaska). While it did start working today, we have an appointment on Thursday 7/28 in Anchorage to get it fixed. We will leave Homer around 6:00am and drive to Anchorage. We are very hopeful it will be fixed that day. I will stay in Anchorage to meet Kris when she arrives and Mike and Abby will drive down to our next stop, Seward, after the repairs are complete. Kris and I will follow on Friday.

Unfortunately, these are these issues when you have a 45ft house on wheels. Mike is currently working on an issue with one of the awnings but nothing that will keep us from our travels.

While Jim & Anita got their tire fixed, Mike and I did a little tourist things. We first went to the visitor center to get some recommendations. Then went down to the boardwalk to see the folks fishing. With all the rain the river is very high and moving very fast.

After that we went and saw some people dipnetting. Dipnetting is when you stand in the water wearing waders holding a 5-foot diameter net, wait for a salmon to swim into it, and then drag it back onto shore and kill it by bonking it in the head. I’m pretty sure that’s a technical term, and it’s usually the kid’s job. Dipnetting is a family affair. Apparently, you can only get a license for this if you are a resident of Alaska. Mike was very impressed with the woman in her two piece "bathing suit" going into the water for the fish. He said he would not want to cross her as she obviously was very tough. 

Later we went to Buckets Sports Grill for dinner. It was a good place but very small so lots of people going there after they finished fishing for the day.

Friday 7/22 was a great day and NO rain. 😁. We went fishing for sockeye salmon and got 24 (limit of 6 per person). It took us about 3 hours and would have taken a lot shorter if we actually were able to reel in everything we hooked. Mike and Anita did fantastic, I held my own with 4.

The 24 salmon came out to about 100 lbs. Obviously we can't store all that in the RVs so most of it was shipped. Jim & Anita sent theirs to a friend in California to share with family and friends when they get there. We shipped some to Mike's brother Rick in Colorado and his cousin Mark in Illinois. We will be stopping at Mark's on the way back so whatever Mike and Mark haven't eaten we will bring back to Florida. We kept about 10 lbs. (8 vacuum packs of 2) for here in the RV. Mike and Jim are having some tonight.

Fishing in the Kenai River is not as easy as it sounds with the rive being high and fast. We all got fitted with waders (Mike had his own) before we went out. It was just another opportunity for them to make fun of me as it was hard getting one to fit because of my size, more specifically my shoe size. 😜 I made it work.

The water was above my waist just standing and when a boat come by producing waves it was an adventure. Thankfully it never went above my waders. Unfortunately, mine and Anita's waders had leaks in them as we were both wet when we got back. But we had a fantastic time, and the sun was shining most of the time, so all was good.

While we were waiting for them to filet the fish, we went to have lunch at a Mexican restaurant, Senor Panchos. It was very good but we were all very hungry by then so anything would be good. Oh yeah, the margaritas were good as well.

Interesting facts about Soldotna and Kenai

Soldotna is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2020 census, the population was 4,342, up from 4,163 in 2010.

Soldotna is located in the Southcentral portion of Alaska on the central-western portion of the Kenai Peninsula. The city limits span 7 square miles along the Kenai River, which empties into the Cook Inlet in the nearby city of Kenai. Soldotna is located on the western edge of the vast Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area spanning nearly 2 million acres and home to bears, moose, caribou, sheep, and many fish and bird species.

Tourism on the Kenai Peninsula revolves heavily around outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and canoeing/rafting. Soldotna provides several city-owned, public access parks along the Kenai River. The river contains all five Pacific salmon species, as well as other salmonids such as Dolly Varden and rainbow trout. Soldotna is also in close proximity to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Tsalteshi Trails, and various waterways (the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, Soldotna and Slikok Creeks, and Skilak and Tustumena Lakes).

The Kenai River was selected by CNN Travel as one of the "World's 15 Best Rivers for Travelers," due to its fishing and hunting opportunities.

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